The Walk with Pride Project
This is a gay issue.
This is a straight issue.
This is a human rights issue.
Walk With Pride (WWP) is a project to photograph and document gay pride parades around the globe. Our aim is to promote pride, empathy, and understanding on an international level, while highlighting the similarities and differences in gay rights and gay culture around the world.
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Tag Archives: Moscow pride
No arrests. No police. No skinheads.
I’m pleased to report that the 5th Moscow Pride went extremely well. Waiting in the headquarters, before the Pride, with over 30 Russian, Belorussian, and International activists, everyone was nervous. Looking at the history of the Pride, and the 40 people arrested last year, those participating were fearing the worst, and hoping for the best.
What helped this year was the use of disinformation, which kept the police and skinheads far away from the real action. As the opposition gathered in front of city hall, gay pride activists marched in a different part of the city.
When we got the call the Pride was to begin, everyone quickly went in small groups to the designated area. As soon as activists arrived, the pride began. In Russian, there were shouts of “Russia without homophobes” and “Rights for gays,” while participants grabbed hold of the 20m flag, hand-sewn and brought in from Belorussia.
As quickly as it started, everything evaporated. The flag was folded up, and activists dashed in different directions. Police hadn’t arrived yet, but everyone knew they were coming. Only a few minutes after people scattered, and a police van pulled up. But, there was no one to arrest.
Much later, those who participated in the Pride began to gather to celebrate today’s victory. Let’s just say everyone was quite happy, especially proving the Mayor wrong who said no gay pride could take place in Moscow …
Photos to be posted very soon on http://walkwithpridenow.com
Video of the pride:
Earlier this morning there was another court hearing concerning the banned march. The opposition presented a feeble argument. Getting up before the judge, the opposition lawyer said the pride event was banned by the Mayor because a different event was already scheduled for that day, a rally in support of PM Vladimir Putin. When Nikolai got up to speak on the absurdity of this ‘Putin argument’, especially as he’d been the very first at the courthouse the day the law allowed applying for the permit, the judge couldn’t help but stifle a chuckle. However, in the end Gay Russia’s attempt to legally hold the march was futile.
While national world governments have not been vocal in supporting the Moscow Gay Pride march, a group of Human Rights activists here in Moscow have taken to the web using every press outlet they have to spread the word about what’s going on…
Tomorrow, we’ll have pictures and updates of
the 5th Moscow Pride.
We wait patiently in the Moscow courtroom. The judge is in his chambers deciding the legality of the 5th Moscow Pride march. Everyone stands as the judge returns. His announcement – the ban is upheld.
The “Walk with Pride” project is currently in Moscow to document the latest attempt to hold Moscow Pride. Each year the group Gay Russia, led by LGBT rights activist Nikolai Alekseev, has conflicts with the courts, Moscow’s homophobic Mayor Yury Luzhkov, the police, religious groups, and even neo-Nazis while attempting to demonstrate for equal rights.
While in Minsk, Chad had made contact with Nikolai and approached him about photographing the preparations for this year’s Moscow pride. Nothing was guaranteed, so we were more than a little relieved to get our first call from Nikolai on Wednesday morning asking if we’d like to accompany him to a preliminary hearing concerning the Mayor’s ban on Moscow Pride.
Over the next couple of days we are witness to many court hearings, but each failed to provide the group with the basic right of assembly.
On Thursday afternoon, following the most recent court decision to uphold the ban, a press conference is held. During this conference activist Peter Tatchell and other key members of Human Rights organizations, spoke out condemning the ban.
“He should be put on trial for violating the Russian constitution – the real criminals are not the organizers of Moscow Pride, but the Mayor of Moscow and the judges who uphold this illegal ban.” – Peter Tatchell, coordinator for the British HR group Outrage!
For a full report on the press conference, check out the UK Gay News report.
Country Details: Gay Rights and Culture in Russia
Russia LGBT Rights:
Homosexual Acts Legal? Yes
Same-sex Relationships Recognized? No
Same-sex Marriages Allowed? No
Same-sex Adoption Allowed? Not really
◊ If you are single you can adopt children regardless of sexual orientation, but same-sex couples can not adopt children
Can Gays Serve Openly in the Military? Yes, since 1993
◊ However, do to homophobia in the military, most choose not to serve openly.
Anti-discrimination Laws? No
Legislature Concerning Gender Identity? Yes
◊ Transexual and Transgender people can change their legal gender after undergoing medical procedures.
Cultural Points of Interest:
“Cracks in the Iron Closet: Travels in Gay and Lesbian Russia” is a book by David Tuller describing his travels exploring the underground gay world in Russia.
Gay.ru – A forum and community site for the Russian LGBT community. The website has information in both Russian and English, and over 15,000 articles/documents providing information for visitors to gay.ru.
Just discovered this movie, and it looks great …
BEYOND GAY: The Politics of Pride
Presented by Big Gay Movie
Increasingly the Pride movement is globalizing. Coolen and many Pride organizers in North America and Europe, where celebration has overtaken political action, strive to remind their communities that Pride is at its heart a global fight for human rights.
Despite the hundreds of thousands of people cheering in the streets, Pride is much, much more than a parade and a party. It is a giant step on the road to true equality. The GLBT community during Pride is an entertaining and engaging multi- ethnic group than can bring attention to the issue of human rights with diversity, insight, and of course plenty of fabulousness. Some highlights include:
InterPride 2007, Zurich Switzerland
Coolen and co-parade director, Dean Nelson, attend this international conference of Pride organizations. Many human rights activists are interviewed, including American artist and activist Gilbert Baker creator of the first rainbow flag.
Sao Paulo Pride Parade, Brazil
This begins a tour Coolen and the crew will never forget. VIP access to the world’s largest Gay Parade where 4 million people take part in their government sponsored Pride: a street party that defies the imagination. Their theme this year: Homophobia Kills! Then, 7days later …
Coolen and crew are the only foreigners involved in the clandestine preparations for this event. Secret meetings, hidden identities, police harassment, the first successful peaceful Pride March, and a violent counter protest reveal just how passionate people can be about a parade.
Pride Colombo, Sri Lanka
Pride events here are only advertised after they take place, in order to protect the identities of those brave enough to attend. Our host, Pride organizer Sahran Abeysundra, later travels to Canada to be a Grand Marshal in Vancouver’s Parade.
“Celebrating 30 Years of the Rainbow”: Back in Vancouver, where equal marriage is legal and the parade entertains half a million people, Ken struggles to make the parade have some meaning after all he has seen. Through Ken we discover that despite thousands of people cheering in the streets, Pride is much, much more than a parade and a party. It’s a giant step on the road to true human equality.” – movie synopsis from